How to Get Ready for This Week’s Lunar Eclipse (AKA the Longest of the Century)

Photo: Stocksy/Ivan Gener

It's rare to have two eclipses in one month, and that's exactly what July brought this year—which may have you feeling some serious celestial craziness, since they're associated with sudden endings and beginnings. With the first on July 12 and the second happening this week (a "blood moon" lunar eclipse, meaning it'll turn a red or ruddy-brown color instead of going dark), rockstar astrologer Jennifer Racioppi is here to help you plan your self-care to ride these choppy cosmic seas. (Did we mention that a Mercury retrograde period also kicks off this week?)

Monday, July 23

The work week begins with the sun in Leo and the moon in Sagittarius. Given that both Leo and Sagittarius are fire signs, and the moon is waxing gibbous, expect to feel the pulse of power moving within. While it’s easy to skip working out, especially amidst the peak summer season, prioritizing your morning sweat session sets you up nicely for the week. Capitalize on the strength of fire. With Mercury soon to turn retrograde, and a total blood moon lunar eclipse later this week, enjoying the benefits of cardiovascular activity now helps fortify resilience and capacity to stay focused throughout the week ahead. If possible, try starting the week with a high impact workout class, a long run, or a power yoga class. After all, the moon in Sagittarius encourages athleticism and freedom. Embrace it!

Tuesday, July 24

Today’s nuanced astrological configurations ask you to find and commit to stillness (even if just for five minutes). The sun moves into an applying trine with Chiron, an asteroid who represents healing. This fortuitous connection supports the integration of a lesson stemming from an old wound. Meanwhile, Venus, the planet of love, moves into direct opposition with Neptune, the planet most closely related to spiritual expansion. This opposition brings with it the illumination of personal values but possibly a wee bit of confusion, too. All the while, retrograde Saturn (which correlates with purpose) tightens its angle of support to Uranus, the planet of radical breakthrough. Meaning: Soul-driven discovery becomes even more possible. Mercury stations retrograde tomorrow and finding your inner center remains paramount. No matter what, stop today and connect to the still quiet voice within. Drop in and listen—you are integrating incredible lessons and up-leveling in so many ways. Create the space to receive the internal guidance you need. Then, even more importantly, follow it!

Wednesday, July 25

Mercury, the planet of communication, stations retrograde today, commencing his journey of illumination. Mercury travels retrograde in the sign of Leo until August 18—and while Mercury retrograde periods are associated with technology malfunctioning (everything from cellphone woes to airport scheduling chaos), they're also potent periods for introspection. Given that Mars, Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, and Chiron also travel retrograde now (and Uranus stations retrograde on August 7) we enter into one of the slowest times of 2018. Patience, mindfulness, and willingness to look at life through the eyes of compassion become non-negotiables. Rest, recovery, and play prove incredibly fruitful, too.

It’s a great time to take a vacation, but it’s also wonderful to stay in life, too. Mercury retrograde gives way to renewed passion, vigor, and contentment when leveraged appropriately. Look at what emerges over the next few weeks with the eyes of love, and commit to becoming a consummate benefit finder. Doing so not only supports you with enjoying Mercury retrograde but sets you up to make tremendous gains during this period too. Go slow, listen to your intuition, and lean into change.

Thursday, July 26

Mars, the planet of action, is traveling retrograde in the sign of Aquarius, and today he forms a perfect opposition with the sun in Leo. Given Mars’ status as a warrior, his retrograde cycle elicits yin qualities from this planet of power. Since Mars now opposes the sun (which represents vitality and well-being), take time to nourish yourself. Eat foods that genuinely add to your spunk and stay away from anything that throws your blood sugar out of balance. Needlessly snapping at others is not advised during the current astrological intensity, and it's important to eat in a way that helps you to feel calm. To that end, with the moon waxing full, ground yourself. Putting bare feet on the earth, taking long outdoor walks, and meditating prove incredibly powerful. To support this, Venus, the planet of love and beauty, makes a sweet trine to Pluto, which promotes profound transformation. Lean into this earth trine and nurture yourself. Focus on yin for the win.

Friday, July 27

The total blood moon lunar eclipse occurs in the sign of Aquarius today at 4:20 p.m. EDT. This eclipse spans one hour and 43 minutes (the longest eclipse of the century!). This potent and robust eclipse asks you to step into your resilience, the ability to face life precisely as it is, and become a better version of yourself in the process. Given the intense retrograde activity, the duration of the eclipse, and the fact that it occurs in Aquarius, a sign that represents progressive change, this eclipse encourages profound illumination of what needs to transform in your life (and in the greater world, too). Due to Uranus’ square to the sun and the moon at the time of the eclipse, a fixed T-square in the sky forms—meaning things may feel intense.

Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, champions you to break free from oppressive patterns and stand up for the change you feel called to create. Putting pressure on the sun, moon, and Mars simultaneously, this eclipse pushes all of us to look at areas of our life we may have avoided. Fortunately, many positives are happening in the sky during the eclipse, helping this to happen with ease and grace. Lean into support and stay in the seat of the observer. This is not the time to numb or avoid, but rather witness, discern, and intend.

Saturday, July 28

With yesterday’s total lunar blood moon eclipse now complete, take some time to journal today. How do you feel? What’s emerging? If your soul had a message for you, what would it be? Notice what’s currently surprising you about life. The sun conjoins the north node of fate and destiny today, encouraging you to align with the most significant potential. Practically speaking, this means acknowledging your vision and mindfully processing where (and what) you feel called to shift. Remember, Mercury and Mars both travel retrograde (among other planets, too) so now’s not the time to rush. Pace yourself while staying present to your truth. Engage movement that encourages detoxification and integration. Consider a vinyasa yoga practice that emphasizes deep twisting. Using a dry skin brush provides the ability to shed the skin you no longer need (literally) while receiving invigorating benefits. If available, Ayurvedic bodywork (or any bodywork that gently yokes your spiritual presence) proves exceptionally fruitful now, too. Lean into what feels pure and life-giving. Focus on self-care and self-love.

Sunday, July 29

Embrace laziness today. When I say lazy, I mean gentle, slow, and restful. That can be potent medicine. With a crazy week in the rearview mirror, integration and ease go a long way. Practice mindful self-compassion and lovingly acknowledge any uncomfortable feelings. Meditation, as always, provides therapeutic benefits. If possible, spend time with those you love and enjoy leisure. Feeling a bit more introverted? Read a book, or go on a slow walk alone, preferably in nature. No matter how you spend the day, take advantage of the peak summer weather. We quickly approach the halfway mark of the season, so enjoy it to the max.

Jennifer Racioppi is the creator of Lunar Logic—a philosophy that integrates the deep wisdom of both science and spirituality, and blends her expertise in astrology, positive psychology, and women's health—to coach high-achieving female entrepreneurs to reach their next level of success. 

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